Paul’s work is mostly play…

Working out: Waipā playground assets officer Paul van der Hoek on one of the fitness park machines in Cambridge.

Paul van der Hoek is in a job he loves looking after Waipā District Council’s playground assets.

And that’s despite the fact his duties include cleaning up vomit, graffiti and removing rubbish.

Van der Hoek, who lived in Pirongia and now lives in Kāwhia, was in Cambridge earlier this week to clean up the outdoor fitness park next to the senior and junior playgrounds at the northern end of Lake Te Koo Utu.

The council recently updated one of the fitness machines because of its regular use, he said.

His patch includes Waipā’s 27 playgrounds where the council spends more than $70,000 a year on playgrounds and playground maintenance.

“I love seeing people enjoying the parks,” says Van der Hoek, who has been with the council for two years.

Prior to that he worked for 12 years in Hamilton.

“Waipā’s the best because it’s not such a crazy city,” he said.

Increasing vandalism to Waipā’s public facilities has seen a surge in repair costs.

Recent vandalism appeared to be more targeted and repetitious, according to the council earlier this month.

The increasing repairs were preventing proactive general maintenance from being undertaken as the cost was taken from the existing annual renewals and maintenance budgets.

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